By Jayant Patel
General Knowledge Manual 2012, Muktikanta Mohanty, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, Pp 50, Rs 175
General knowledge has acquired greater importance today than ever before because not only is it a major constituent of all kinds of competitive examinations, but also aids professionals in acquiring general awareness. The objective of the book, according to the author, is to present the vast expanse of the subject in a structured and concise manner to help students to take the competitive examinations with ease.
The book begins by discussing history first of all and covers three separate periods – ancient India, medieval India and modern India. Here the author describes the Indus Valley civilisation, the Vedic period, the advent of Buddhism and Jainism, the different dynasties like the Haryanka, Maurya, Harsh Vardhana, Chalukyas, Rashrakutas, Pallavas, Cholas and others. Under medieval India, he covers the invasion of India by Muslims, the establishment of Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire. Modern India begins with the ascent of Europeans and goes on to cover the British rule leading to Independence for India. The timelines in world history are provided which would prove beneficial in learning about the dates of important events in history.
The geography of India provides details on physical geography – deserts, rivers, sols, climate, minerals, while political geography tells about transport and communication, ports, demography, etc.
This is followed by world geography which talks of the universe, solar system, the earth, atmosphere, hydrosphere, etc.
Indian economy is discussed to show how it is the fastest growing economy and the tenth largest in the world due to its Gross Domestic Product.
The Constitution of India is presented under the head Indian Polity, as also Centre-state relations, political process, General Elections of 2009, etc.
A major portion of the book is devoted to general science and technology and to environmental sciences which are currently hotly debated.
The most valuable information is carried under Current Affairs and this would help students to know of the latest developments the world over. Students stand to benefit by reading this book.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi–110002; www.macmillanpublisherindia.com)